In the past decade, South Korean dramas have become one of the driving forces behind the Hallyu wave. The ever-growing list of classic Korean dramas produced saw an exponential increase in viewers as the shows have become more accessible through international platforms such as Netflix. With 2020 marking a new decade, fans are curious to see whether Korean dramas will maintain its popularity or face a decline like Hong Kong dramas and movies. Fortunately, it looks like Korean dramas are still thriving with great vigor based on its recent record-breaking TV ratings.
Here are the following top eight Korean dramas leading the first half of 2020 in order:
1. Dr. Romantic 2
Despite the immense popularity and high ratings of both The World of the Married and Crash Landing on You, it turns out the sequel to successful medical drama Dr. Romantic is the most-watched Korean drama of the year, according to the latest researched data. The series, starring popular actors Han Suk Kyu, Ahn Hyo Seop, and Lee Sung Kyung, aired on SBS TV, a free-to-air national television channel. The final episode achieved a rating of 27.1 percent, and the total viewership for the entire 16 episodes was at 3.46 million.
2. The World of the Married
However, R-rated drama The World of the Married did not fall too far behind. It had a total viewership of 3.35 million, and its finale impressively scored 28.37 percent viewership, surpassing SKY Castle as the most-watched TV drama in the history of Korean cable television. The two main actresses Kim Hee Ae and Han So Hee surged in popularity and garnered significant praises for their respective performances as a wife and a mistress.
3. Crash Landing on You
Starring rumored couple Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin, Crash Landing on You attracted a total of 3.33 million viewers. The cross-border rom-com gained immediate attention for its storyline of star-crossed lovers and forbidden romance. The leads became instant fan favorites who were heavily shipped as a couple after the show.
4. Stove League
As baseball is the most popular sport in South Korea, the baseball-themed drama Stove League came fourth with a total of 2.77 million viewers.
5. Itaewon Class
Itaewon Class, based on the webtoon of the same title, was a highly anticipated project. Thankfully, the drama lived up to fans’ expectations and drew the interest of 2.6 million viewers. The success of the series boosted the popularity of main leads Park Seo Joon and Kim Da Mi, whose hairstyles trended.
6. Hospital Playlist
With an all-star cast, Hospital Playlist had many fans buzzing with excitement and anticipation from the beginning to the end. The unbeatable cast of Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jung Kyung Ho, Jeon Mi Do, and Kim Dae Myung set the bar high for medical dramas with their acting skills, musical abilities, and comedic chemistry. It ranked sixth with 2.39 million viewership.
Hyena snatched seventh place with its engaging storyline revolving between two rival lawyers, played by Best Actor Ju Ji Hoon and Best Actress Kim Hye So. It garnered a total of 1.92 million viewers.
8. The King: Eternal Monarch
Actor Lee Min Ho‘s comeback drama The King: Eternal Monarch recorded 1.59 million total views. Despite disappointing ratings and reviews, the show still managed to earn a spot on the list.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.